Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma Defeat TCU in Big 12 Championship Blowout
(CBS)–Oklahoma likely secured a berth in the College Football Playoff, and quarterback Baker Mayfield moved one step closer to winning the 2017 Heisman Trophy, helping the third-ranked Sooners score a 41-17 victory over the No. 11 TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday in the Big 12 Championship Game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Mayfield, a heavy favorite to take home college football’s top individual honor, completed 15 of his 23 passes for 243 yards and four touchdowns as OU moved to 12-1. Tight end Mark Andrews also shone with seven catches for 58 yards and two scores.
TCU, which dropped to 10-3, fell behind 17-0 in the first quarter and could never get back level. Horned Frogs quarterback Kenny Hill had a strong showing, though, with 234 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception and a team-high 51 rushing yards.
Oklahoma came out firing on all cylinders inside the first five minutes.
Austin Seibert capped a 13-play opening drive with a 41-yard field goal to give the Sooners a quick lead. Then, on the first play from scrimmage for TCU, Amani Bledsoe forced a Kyle Hicks fumble that Caleb Kelly returned 18 yards for a touchdown.
The Horned Frogs responded with a 17-point quarter of their own in the second to bring at least a little drama back into the equation. Hill connected with Jalen Reagor and John Diarse on touchdown passes less than seven minutes apart to cut the OU led to three.
Mayfield hooked up with Andrews for the second time before the break, this time from six yards out, to ensure Oklahoma maintained a halftime edge.
The Sooners broke the game back open early in the third quarter with a pair of touchdown throws by Mayfield that may have locked him in as the Heisman recipient.
First, the 22-year-old Texas native delivered a strike to Mykel Jones, who easily beat single coverage on a slant and took it the distance.
Mayfield then stood tall in the face of pressure to drop a nice throw into the waiting arms of Marquise Brown to stretch OU’s lead to 21 after the extra point.Looking ahead, the Sooners are awaiting their assignment in what should be a trip to either the Rose Bowl or the Sugar Bowl for a CFP semifinal. Mayfield will take a little bit of time away from the team for the Heisman ceremony next Saturday night in New York City, and he’ll probably return to OU with the trophy.
TCU won’t be part of the playoff field after Saturday’s loss, but it could still land in one of the other New Year’s Six bowl games. The Horned Frogs may even play a second straight game at AT&T Stadium if selected for the Cotton Bowl Classic on Dec. 29.